Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 61 (9027 total)
60 online now:
CosmicChimp, Phat (AdminPhat) (2 members, 58 visitors)
Newest Member: JustTheFacts
Post Volume: Total: 883,426 Year: 1,072/14,102 Month: 64/411 Week: 85/168 Day: 2/12 Hour: 0/1


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Reconstructing the Historical Jesus
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 142 of 560 (616787)
05-24-2011 12:02 PM
Reply to: Message 141 by crashfrog
05-24-2011 11:16 AM


Jesus: Christianity's Biggest Embarrassment
what available evidence is there to confirm the Biblical account of the historicity and ministry of Jesus?

The best evidence, but not by far the only, is that Jesus was a failure. Not only is the reconstructed historical Jesus a failure, but even the gospel character himself.

As the messiah, which his followers claimed him to be, he was supposed to:

· Build an army.
· Be a king.
· Drive out the Romans.
· Reestablish Jewish rule in Palestine.

Instead he:

· Had a following of twelve peasant fishermen.
· Was a pauper.
· Was executed by the Romans without raising so much as a fist.
· Sat in his grave and rotted as the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 a.d.

His failure was such an embarrassment to anyone who knew anything about the Messianic hopes, expectations, and prophecies that the majority of the new converts came in not as Jews, like Jesus himself, but as Gentiles who knew nothing about Judaism or the actual beliefs regarding the Messiah—people who could be duped and never know it.

Now, when we study history, we cannot go back in time to figure out what happened for sure. So far, no reasonable scholar proposes that Jesus existed with 100% certainty. Instead, we must look at the explanations available us and judge them in terms of probability and in terms of explanatory power.

When we judge the Jesus Myth theory against the Historical Jesus theory, we can only reasonably conclude that the Historical Jesus scenario is far more probable than the Jesus Myth scenario. This is for the reasons that I gave above that no Jew (the earliest followers of the Jesus movement) would come up with a 'messiah' that looked like Jesus. Instead, all the messianic beliefs regarding Jesus appear as ad hoc, face-saving excuses consistent with the existence of an actual man whose little posse though him to be the Messiah and then scrambled like eggs in a skillet to explain away the fact that he was actually a failure—majorly.

But, it's my expectation that this has been explained in this thread somewhere else already; it's pretty common objection to the Jesus Myth myth. You might even find some more stuff if you look through this thread. I know that's what I'm going to do next!

Jon

Edited by Jon, : clarity


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 141 by crashfrog, posted 05-24-2011 11:16 AM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 143 by Theodoric, posted 05-24-2011 12:34 PM Jon has responded
 Message 145 by crashfrog, posted 05-24-2011 12:50 PM Jon has responded

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 144 of 560 (616809)
05-24-2011 12:44 PM
Reply to: Message 143 by Theodoric
05-24-2011 12:34 PM


Re: Jesus: Christianity's Biggest Embarrassment
Paul doesn't even talk about a historical Jew. He does not address anything in the Gospels. He speaks of a mythical Christ that existed on a a spiritual plane.

Sorry, but have you ever read Paul?

Why is there no contemporary account of this Jesus Christ?

Your artificial limitation that our evidence be in the form of an 'account' has no place in a serious discussion.

Jon


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 143 by Theodoric, posted 05-24-2011 12:34 PM Theodoric has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 147 by crashfrog, posted 05-24-2011 12:52 PM Jon has not yet responded
 Message 148 by Theodoric, posted 05-24-2011 12:53 PM Jon has not yet responded

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 146 of 560 (616812)
05-24-2011 12:51 PM
Reply to: Message 145 by crashfrog
05-24-2011 12:50 PM


Re: Jesus: Christianity's Biggest Embarrassment
So, your evidence that the Jesus of the Bible existed

I NEVER CLAIMED THAT THE 'JESUS OF THE BIBLE' EXISTED.

Learn to read.


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 145 by crashfrog, posted 05-24-2011 12:50 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 149 by crashfrog, posted 05-24-2011 12:54 PM Jon has not yet responded
 Message 150 by Theodoric, posted 05-24-2011 12:59 PM Jon has not yet responded

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 151 of 560 (616827)
05-24-2011 1:45 PM


History ≠ Bible
I don't know how anyone could possibly have a serious conversation about these matters with folk who cannot distinguish between 'Jesus of the Bible' and the 'historical Jesus'.

Likewise with anyone who doesn't regard contextual evidence as evidence, or implies that the Romans kept records of the people they executed, and so forth with all the ridiculousness typical of creationists Jesus Mythists.

An historical Jesus is the best explanation of the evidence; if someone thinks there is a better one, present it.


Love your enemies!

Replies to this message:
 Message 152 by Theodoric, posted 05-24-2011 2:41 PM Jon has responded
 Message 155 by crashfrog, posted 05-24-2011 4:30 PM Jon has not yet responded

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 153 of 560 (616831)
05-24-2011 2:59 PM
Reply to: Message 152 by Theodoric
05-24-2011 2:41 PM


Re: History ≠ Bible
Present the contextual evidence instead of just talking about it.

I did. You failed to address it; the only evidence you seem ready to accept are written records about Jesus produced by unbiased parties during his life time. We don't have that. But no serious researcher so limits his pool of evidence.

So the Jesus of the bible is a myth? Based upon a historical Jesus? Why are they different? Show us your evidence and conclusions.

If you cannot see how a poor, powerless Jew executed as a state criminal is different from an incarnated god who ascended into heaven after being raised from the dead, then there is little hope that a discussion with you will bear any fruit whatsoever.

Jon writes:

An historical Jesus is the best explanation of the evidence;

Why? Because it fits your sensibilities?

Jon also said...

quote:
Jon in Message 151:

... if someone thinks there is a better one, present it.


Do you have anything to present? Anything at all?

If you cannot present a better explanation, then there's no reason to take you seriously.

Jon


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 152 by Theodoric, posted 05-24-2011 2:41 PM Theodoric has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 154 by Theodoric, posted 05-24-2011 3:51 PM Jon has not yet responded

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 156 of 560 (616841)
05-24-2011 4:46 PM


Better than Best
An historical Jesus who was an itinerant preacher north of Jerusalem who gained a following of people who thought he was the Messiah but was executed by Roman officials is the best explanation for the evidence.

As scientists, we can accept this tentative explanation until someone can provide a better explanation.

Till then, we've got what we've got.


Love your enemies!

Replies to this message:
 Message 157 by crashfrog, posted 05-24-2011 4:49 PM Jon has responded

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 158 of 560 (616848)
05-24-2011 5:54 PM
Reply to: Message 157 by crashfrog
05-24-2011 4:49 PM


Re: Better than Best
What evidence?

I already mentioned some of it:

quote:
Jon in Message 142:

This is for the reasons that I gave above that no Jew (the earliest followers of the Jesus movement) would come up with a 'messiah' that looked like Jesus. Instead, all the messianic beliefs regarding Jesus appear as ad hoc, face-saving excuses consistent with the existence of an actual man whose little posse though him to be the Messiah and then scrambled like eggs in a skillet to explain away the fact that he was actually a failure—majorly.


You can read more about this here:

quote:
Wikipedia on Jewish Understanding of the Messiah:

Maimonides describes the identity of the Messiah in the following terms:

"And if a king shall arise from among the House of David, studying Torah and occupied with commandments like his father David, according to the written and oral Torah, and he will impel all of Israel to follow it and to strengthen breaches in its observance, and will fight Hashem's [God's] wars, this one is to be treated as if he were the anointed one.
If he succeeded and built the Holy Temple in its proper place and gathered the dispersed ones of Israel together, this is indeed the anointed one for certain, and he will mend the entire world to worship the Lord together, as it is stated: "For then I shall turn for the nations a clear tongue, so that they will all procalim the Name of the Lord, and to worship Him with a united resolve (Zephaniah 3:9)."

Wikipedia on Christian Understanding of the Messiah:

In Christian theology, the Christ/Messiah serves a number of roles which are proclaimed in the Nicene Creeds of 325 and 381 A.D.:

  • He suffers and dies to make atonement before God for the sins of all humanity, because His justice requires that sins be punished, according to Penal substitution theology.

As far as we know, prior to the early first century a.d. no one held the Christian views of the Messiah. The revolutionary redefinition of the Messiah can easily be explained by the existence of a man thought to be the Messiah in the traditional sense who then failed on that account but was instead executed by the Romans.

For now this is all I'll have to say on the matter. If someone bothers presenting a better explanation for these observations than the Historical Jesus hypothesis, then perhaps I'll address their points.

Until then...

Jon


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 157 by crashfrog, posted 05-24-2011 4:49 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 159 by crashfrog, posted 05-24-2011 6:12 PM Jon has responded

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 160 of 560 (616869)
05-24-2011 7:48 PM
Reply to: Message 159 by crashfrog
05-24-2011 6:12 PM


Re: Better than Best
... there was no such person as Jesus.

This isn't an explanation; this is just a denial of an explanation with no effort whatsoever on your part to replace it with a better explanation.

Until you come up with another explanation, an historical Jesus isn't just the best one we've got, it's the only one we've got.

Like I said...

quote:
Jon in Message 158:

If someone bothers presenting a better explanation for these observations than the Historical Jesus hypothesis, then perhaps I'll address their points.


Jon


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 159 by crashfrog, posted 05-24-2011 6:12 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 161 by crashfrog, posted 05-24-2011 8:00 PM Jon has acknowledged this reply

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 167 of 560 (617172)
05-26-2011 12:08 PM
Reply to: Message 165 by crashfrog
05-26-2011 11:48 AM


Crash's Caricatures - 50¢ a Print
... yet there's no mention at all about Judea's most famous trial?

Probably because it wasn't at all famous or unique.

there's no such thing as Jesus, and to assert that the "historical Jesus" was a guy named Jesus who was only half-Jewish, wasn't considered the Messiah, didn't lead a Jewish revolt, wasn't a carpenter, didn't perform miracles, wasn't executed by the Romans, and didn't rise from the dead three days later

You are caricaturing the arguments for an historical Jesus. Why don't you actually bother reading what people are posting before going off on your ridiculous rants?

No one has argued for miracles.
No one has argued for a carpenter.
No one has argued for a revolt.
No one has argued for a resurrection.

And so the list goes on of things that have nothing to do with your opponents' positions but that you seem incapable of separating from your objections. Your all-or-nothing nonsense is completely unrelated to the arguments of an historical Jesus.

The principle of parsimony says that we must not needlessly multiply entities, and the mythical Jesus notion has one less entity - to wit, Jesus.

No, it doesn't. Because to preserve the mythical Jesus notion, one must invent a whole slew of extra crap to explain the things that a single entity—historical Jesus—can explain easily.

Interestingly, despite the fact that such a slew exists, you've not once attempted to present it. Thus, all you have done is deny one of the explanations and failed to present an alternative.

So once again, we all await your explanation; we're all excited to set it on the table and examine it to see if it really is better than the historical Jesus explanation. All you have to do is present it.

Jon


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 165 by crashfrog, posted 05-26-2011 11:48 AM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 168 by crashfrog, posted 05-26-2011 12:15 PM Jon has responded

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 169 of 560 (617176)
05-26-2011 12:50 PM
Reply to: Message 168 by crashfrog
05-26-2011 12:15 PM


Re: Crash's Caricatures - 50¢ a Print
Jon writes:

No one has argued for miracles.
No one has argued for a carpenter.
No one has argued for a revolt.
No one has argued for a resurrection.

So, then, by definition nobody is arguing for the existence of a historical Jesus.

None of those things are defining characteristics of an historical Jesus. This only shows how little informed you are of the issues at hand.

In point of fact, however, people do argue for miracles, for carpenter, for the revolt that never happened, for the impossible resurrection.

Okay. Find those people; address your arguments at them. As for me, nothing you've stated is relevant to my position. If you want to continue debating my position I suggest you actually bother addressing it.

So far I've seen nothing but people's personal incredulity that you could base a religion on a fictional person and have it become popular in under 50 years, despite the fact that I've now given modern examples of that precise thing happening precisely as it did in the first century - twice in living memory!

That has not been my argument—anywhere.

Obviously you don't give even a single example, because this claim is false.

I did give an example. I'll give it again:

quote:
Jon in Message 142:

The best evidence, but not by far the only, is that Jesus was a failure. Not only is the reconstructed historical Jesus a failure, but even the gospel character himself.

As the messiah, which his followers claimed him to be, he was supposed to:

· Build an army.
· Be a king.
· Drive out the Romans.
· Reestablish Jewish rule in Palestine.

Instead he:

· Had a following of twelve peasant fishermen.
· Was a pauper.
· Was executed by the Romans without raising so much as a fist.
· Sat in his grave and rotted as the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 a.d.

His failure was such an embarrassment to anyone who knew anything about the Messianic hopes, expectations, and prophecies that the majority of the new converts came in not as Jews, like Jesus himself, but as Gentiles who knew nothing about Judaism or the actual beliefs regarding the Messiah—people who could be duped and never know it.

Now, when we study history, we cannot go back in time to figure out what happened for sure. So far, no reasonable scholar proposes that Jesus existed with 100% certainty. Instead, we must look at the explanations available us and judge them in terms of probability and in terms of explanatory power.

When we judge the Jesus Myth theory against the Historical Jesus theory, we can only reasonably conclude that the Historical Jesus scenario is far more probable than the Jesus Myth scenario. This is for the reasons that I gave above that no Jew (the earliest followers of the Jesus movement) would come up with a 'messiah' that looked like Jesus. Instead, all the messianic beliefs regarding Jesus appear as ad hoc, face-saving excuses consistent with the existence of an actual man whose little posse though him to be the Messiah and then scrambled like eggs in a skillet to explain away the fact that he was actually a failure—majorly.


This complete 180° turn in Messianic thinking needs an explanation once you throw out an historical Jesus. You haven't offered one.

Jon


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 168 by crashfrog, posted 05-26-2011 12:15 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 172 by crashfrog, posted 05-26-2011 1:54 PM Jon has responded

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 175 of 560 (617187)
05-26-2011 2:18 PM
Reply to: Message 172 by crashfrog
05-26-2011 1:54 PM


Fail on All Accounts
None of those things are defining characteristics of an historical Jesus.

They're defining characteristics of Jesus

No they aren't, and no critical scholars who support the historic Jesus hypothesis think that they are, nor do I. If this is all you've got, then you've got nothing.

Jon writes:

If you want to continue debating my position I suggest you actually bother addressing it.

Ok, then present it.

I have—three times now at least.

I don't see how this can possibly be explained by a "historic Jesus" if the historic Jesus you propose - as you continually insist - was not the Jewish messiah.

He doesn't have to be the Jewish Messiah; he only has to be believed to be the Jewish Messiah in his lifetime. And there were a lot of people in first century Palestine who fit that bill.

was not the Jewish messiah.

There is no Jewish messiah: never has been, likely never will be. If this is all you've got, then you've got nothing.

So the historic Jesus adds nothing that explains this "180 turn in Messianic thinking."

Yes, it does. A real man who people thought was the Messiah but got executed leads to explanation of 'Ahhh... now we see, the Messiah was supposed to get executed all along!'.

Your Jesus Myth hypothesis doesn't explain it; an historical Jesus does.

... it provided something - hope, maybe, people love hope - that the traditional messianic beliefs lacked.

The traditional messianic beliefs were all about hope. Whatever are you talking about?

Jon


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 172 by crashfrog, posted 05-26-2011 1:54 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 177 by crashfrog, posted 05-26-2011 2:40 PM Jon has responded

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 178 of 560 (617200)
05-26-2011 3:00 PM
Reply to: Message 177 by crashfrog
05-26-2011 2:40 PM


'F' is for Fail... and for Frog
Crash, go and do some research on the concept of the Jewish Messiah. Understand what such a person was supposed to be and what they were supposed to do.

Go and learn something about how historians perform their work: the criteria they use in evaluating claims, the sorts of things they try to explain, the system of valuation they use to rank explanations, etc.

you've been explicit that the "historic Jesus" wasn't crucified

Stop, Crash. Just stop. I never once said that. Never. Once.

If all you can do is misrepresent me and fail miserably to present a real argument, then you've got nothing. I dare say you've exemplified my statements in the Mythology and Belief of Anti-Theism thread.

You sure seem to fit the bill.

Jon


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 177 by crashfrog, posted 05-26-2011 2:40 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 180 by crashfrog, posted 05-26-2011 3:19 PM Jon has acknowledged this reply

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 230 of 560 (617737)
05-31-2011 1:37 AM


Consequentially Jesus
Sorry about my silence. I couldn't get to a computer this weekend. It seems others have done a fine job addressing the Myther 'arguments', but I still want to comment on a few of the main points from the various posts that have built up during my absence:

quote:
Crash in Message 202:

Indeed. And that's why the "mythical Jesus" position is so reasonable - the environment was perfect for the injection of a completely mythical savior...


This fails to address the point that Jesus didn't save anything or anyone. Jesus didn't free the Jews from Roman rule. Jesus didn't restore the temple. Jesus didn't put a davidic king on the throne. And so on.

He just got executed. No saving there.

quote:
Mod in Message 206:

That it wouldn't have been extraordinary for Jesus to have existed, which explains the consillience of the information about what he is said to have done and/or said. Some of the things he is said to have said and done are thought to be contrary to the kind of thing people would make up in their situation (that is, they could have made them up, but if they had the opportunity to make something up - we'd expect something different).


This is the essence of what Crash is so far missing. The existence of an historical Jesus isn't a conclusion: it's a premise. It is the least-assumptive, most-explanatory premise that can be inserted for an argument explaining the rise of a Messianic movement with messianic views that are almost 100% contrary to every messianic view that ever existed before the movement and every other one (outside the movement) that has ever existed since.

Crash wants us to drop that premise, but has given us nothing better to replace it with. He has given us no premises that require fewer assumptions; he has given us no premises that provide better explanations. He's given us nothing. So why should we remove our good premise in exchange for his nothing?

Obvious answer: We shouldn't.

quote:
Jazzns in Message 210:

So is our conclusion simply that ONE of these COULD have been the historical Jesus? I mean, that is fine with me, but I don't think that is what the people who are making a case for the historical Jesus are claiming.


With a character who was so unimportant in his day, it is really difficult to say much more about him other than to say that he was just another apocalyptic Jewish preacher whose followers believed to be the Messiah and who was then executed by the Romans.

In the sense that such folk were a dime a dozen in first century Palestine, you are absolutely right in thinking that Jesus was hardly unique at all.

quote:
Jazzns in Message 210:

Even in the bible there is the story of Sampson. Is it your position that the evidence for a historical Sampson is roughly the same as it is for a historical Jesus?


The biggest part of the Jesus movement is that he is always regarded as the Messiah. Even if a small group of Jews had invented the story wholesale about a suffering savior, the chances of them giving him the title 'Messiah' are close to zero. Very close.

quote:
ramoss in Message 220:

The characteristics that I would think would be required for a 'historical Jesus' is
1) A figure that inspired people and lead them.
2) Was named Jesus.
3) Was executed by Pilate.

Amazingly enough, there is one person that matches 2 of those characteristics , but the third characteristic is an unknown.

IN the proper time frame, there was the Samaritan uprising, who was lead by a person whose name is not known, that was excuted by Pilate.


I'm fairly certain that we will never find any contemporaneous accounts clearly mentioning Jesus. From what can be reconstructed of him, he was absolutely unimportant in his day. He doesn't become important until well after the time he would have been executed, and only then because of the grown importance of the movement he (or rather his followers) started.

Jesus was at the head of a movement. The movement became important; Jesus never did. The movement is what is important today; Jesus still isn't. Outside of the movement, no one even cares about Jesus.

Given his eternal lack of importance, I cannot imagine any reasonable person expecting much mention of Jesus apart from the movement he started; and the movement he started didn't start till after his death. This pretty much rules out contemporaneous mention of him anywhere.

quote:
Crash in Message 222:

That's why Christianity doesn't seem to exist at the time that Jesus is supposed to have started Christianity - it didn't get started by Jesus, because he didn't exist to start it.


Christianity didn't exist at the time Jesus lived for the most obvious reason that Jesus was a Jew preaching Judaism. Even after Jesus died there was still no such thing as Christianity.

This is just one of your many ridiculous blunders that make it difficult to take your arguments seriously.

quote:
Crash in Message 223:

Well, no. We have an utterly implausible story of a "historical Jesus Christ" who wasn't named Jesus Christ...


Well, Crash, this has already been addressed. 'Christ' is a title; it would never have been a name for someone like Jesus while he was alive.

quote:
Crash in Message 223:

didn't do miracles, may not have been a carpenter, never gave the Sermon on the Mount, didn't magnify the fishes and loaves, wasn't executed by the Romans, and didn't rise from his grave three days later.


Aside from the execution, none of these things are defining characteristics of an historical Jesus. Again, you've already been told this.

quote:
Crash in Message 223:

It's the utter implausibility of the "historical Jesus" starting Christianity that leads me to believe that there was no historic Jesus...


You have not shown how it is implausible for there to have been an historical Jesus. You have not even demonstrated understanding what 'historical Jesus' means. You have also not yet offered up a better explanation for the evidence that is more plausible than the existence an historical Jesus.

quote:
Crash in Message 223:

Ergo, even "historical Jesus" proponents deny the existence of an actual historical Jesus.


No. They don't. You simply don't understand what 'historical Jesus' means—despite repeated definitions given by others and myself.

quote:
Crash in Message 229:

Better how? Non-existence is always more parsimonious.


Parsimony only matters when our propositions actually have some explanatory power. Since you've offered no alternative explanations yet, the Historical Jesus hypothesis stands uncontested, and so there can be no matters of parsimony that would cause us to reject an historical Jesus.

quote:
Crash in Message 229:

A historical Jesus is a needless entity, and therefore most rationally discarded, if the existence of a historical Jesus is not needed to explain the characteristics and spread of the early church.


But it is needed! As I've already mentioned (along with others here), the Jesus movement's messianic beliefs are almost 100% counter to any messianic beliefs before or since.

There needs to be something to explain this revolution in thinking, and the Historical Jesus hypothesis is the only explanation that has so far been offered in this thread. Without a competing explanation, there is no reason to reject the existence of an historical Jesus; such a character is reasonable enough for the time period that there is no sense to reject his existence if it provides the best and least-assumptive explanation for certain peculiar beliefs and practices of the Jewish sect that later developed into Christianity.

If you cannot offer even the most ridiculous or minor of alternative explanations for this messianic redefinition, then the Historical Jesus hypothesis stands uncontested: there is absolutely no reason to accept another in light of the fact that another has not yet been presented.

I suggest you bother attempting to provide such an alternative; if you don't, you have nothing.

Jon


Love your enemies!

Replies to this message:
 Message 236 by Jazzns, posted 05-31-2011 11:37 AM Jon has not yet responded
 Message 237 by crashfrog, posted 05-31-2011 11:45 AM Jon has responded

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 233 of 560 (617776)
05-31-2011 10:07 AM


On Records
Much has been made over the existence of official execution records and what can be said about Jesus based on them (or on the lack of them). Here, I believe, is a fairly simple and straightforward breakdown of how official records can fit in to the debate on an historical Jesus:

  1. If we possessed all records of Roman executions from about the first half of the first century in Palestine, then:
    If there was an historical Jesus (who by definition was executed), we will have a record of it.
    We don't have a record of it.
    There was no historical Jesus.

    or...

    If there was an historical Jesus (who by definition was executed), we will have a record of it.
    We do have a record of it.
    Nothing can be said about the historical Jesus on the basis of execution records (unless we knew all such records to be genuine).

  2. If we possessed no records of Roman executions from about the first half of the first century in Palestine, then:
    If there was an historical Jesus (who by definition was executed), we won't have a record of it.
    We don't have a record of it.
    Nothing can be said about the historical Jesus on the basis of execution records.

  3. If we possessed some records of Roman executions from about the first half of the first century in Palestine, then:
    If there was an historical Jesus (who by definition was executed), we might or might not have a record of it.
    We don't have a record of it.
    Nothing can be said about the historical Jesus on the basis of execution records.

    or...

    If there was an historical Jesus (who by definition was executed), we might or might not have a record of it.
    We do have a record of it.
    Nothing can be said about the historical Jesus on the basis of execution records.

I think we all can agree that we are sitting most likely in scenario #2 when it comes to records, or maybe scenario #3. In either case, it should be clear that due to the damaging passage of time, scenario #1 is impossible.

Thus, the absence of an official execution record cannot be used to disprove the existence of an historical Jesus. So long as we reside in scenario 2 or 3 (which are the only reasonable scenarios in which to reside), then such an argument must by definition be illogical. If we want to argue that we reside in scenario 1, then I'd say such an argument would clearly be unreasonable. I don't see that point being argued here, though.

In either event, there is no reason to accept the lack of and execution record for Jesus as evidence against the existence of an historical Jesus. None.

Jon


Love your enemies!

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 240 of 560 (617826)
05-31-2011 1:35 PM
Reply to: Message 237 by crashfrog
05-31-2011 11:45 AM


Re: Consequentially Jesus
Sure I have. I've given you the mythical Jesus position, which better explains both the evidence and the lack of evidence, as I've explained.

Your position explains nothing. If it did, you'd be able to demonstrate how it does. You refuse to do this; the best conclusion to draw from your failure is that your explanation is crap.

You say "just another" like there's a double handful of apocalyptic Jewish preachers who were viewed as Messiah - although just above you asserted that the historical Jesus wasn't ever viewed as a messiah, so now I'm confused - who were then executed by the Romans.

No. I never said Jesus wasn't viewed as the Messiah. Never. Once.

What I said was:

quote:
Jon in Message 230:

This fails to address the point that Jesus didn't save anything or anyone. Jesus didn't free the Jews from Roman rule. Jesus didn't restore the temple. Jesus didn't put a davidic king on the throne. And so on.

He just got executed. No saving there.


Do you ever tire of misrepresenting people?

What is the basis for these "reconstructions", then, if there's absolutely no evidence of his existence?

There is evidence. The evidence has been presented. It is high time you bother addressing it.

... there's no evidence for the existence of a Christian church until a decade or two after Jesus is supposed to have lived. That's most consistent with the life story of Jesus being a complete fabrication.

No. It isn't. Even if Jesus were a real person, the developmental time line for the Christian church would be what it was. Thus, you cannot use this as evidence against an historical Jesus, as you've been told many times.

You're right again. The way it was addressed was that every single "historical Jesus" proponent fell all over themselves to agree with me that the historical Jesus Christ wasn't actually named Jesus Christ, which is exactly what I've been saying this whole time.

And this proves nothing. Being named 'Christ' isn't a defining characteristic of an historical Jesus; which explains why historical Jesus proponents don't pay the matter any attention, and why you bringing it up is just a pointless diversion to distract folk from the fact that you have no argument whatsoever.

Thus it's completely accurate for me to describe the historic Jesus Christ as "not named Jesus Christ", since one of those isn't even a name and the other is the Greek translation of the name of someone who, we assume, would have spoken Hebrew.

Absolutely no proponents of the Historical Jesus hypothesis claim that the historical Jesus was named /ʤi.zəs kɹaɪst/ or any allophonic variation thereof. Thus, you are arguing against a position that doesn't exist. Try to stay on topic.

... but you all seem to think it's some kind of deception when I describe the historical Jesus Christ as "not named Jesus Christ."

It is a deception when you attempt to use this fact to argue against the existence of an historical Jesus.

Because there's now a Christianity? If that's your "evidence" it's better explained by a fictional Jesus.

That's not my evidence, and I never claimed it was. Please go and read my post. I'm tired of repeating myself.

This is a falsehood, since I've contested it with the position of a mythical Jesus.

The Mythical Jesus hypothesis explains nothing. And you have not yet shown how it does.

And that contradicts the existence of a historical Jesus, as I've repeatedly explained. How could a Jesus who wasn't the messiah, who everybody knew wasn't the messiah, who was in fact not special in any way, possibly form the basis of a major world religion?

I never said everybody knew Jesus wasn't the Messiah. And I never claimed that he was the basis of a major world religion.

Since you've stripped the "historical Jesus" of literally everything about him that would be attractive as a focus of religious devotion then how could he possibly become the focus of religious devotion?

By being viewed as the Messiah, of course.

No - much more reasonable that Jesus never existed. Much more reasonable that Jesus is a legend into which the early Christian church simply poured its own hopes and needs. Much more reasonable that Jesus Christ is a cypher who was created to serve a specific religious need - not the need of Jews but the needs of Christians, hence Jesus being the messiah of Christians and not of Jews, as you continually remind us he is.

What utter bullshit. Jeesh. I won't even waste my time replying to this nonsense.

Really, Crash, come up with something worthwhile.

Jon


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 237 by crashfrog, posted 05-31-2011 11:45 AM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 245 by crashfrog, posted 05-31-2011 2:35 PM Jon has responded

Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2021